Two new garden beds are complete!

The 10 foot long by 32 in wide and 6 inch tall raised beds are complete. I added 6 cu. ft. of garden soil and 3 cu. ft. of steer manure compost mix to fill the beds.  I need to run the tiller one more time to make sure all of the soil is mixed well and ready to plant.  I added in the wood mulch between the beds so I no longer have to walk in the garden to till or weed the garden.  That should make weeding easier during the season and working the garden in the off-season should be less of a chore.  I have room for one more of the new raised beds but I need to wait until the 1st of May to buy all the materials needed for that bed.

Tucker the peke tilled up the kiddie pool, so it is ready for leaf lettuce/ greens and spinach. I am gifting Mom my small (2 ft x 4 ft.) beds to start a garden at her new place.  This not a perfect solution but it is a good start for her garden area.  Heck if her herb garden does okay and she can make a small salad garden she will save money and eat good food through the summer.  Right now my garden area will be the main focus for growth and harvest.  Mom will be doing  container gardening until she figures out the Micro-climates around her new house.  It looks like I have a few volunteer plants/trees and Mom wants to plant a volunteer maple I found in my yard.  Once the holly bushes start producing seed berries we can get those plant growing to make a wind break around her land.

I’m a bit late starting plants indoors but the weather forecast is looking great so I can start plants like lettuce, carrots, radishes, cauliflower and broccoli by seed in one bed.  I want to add a root crop bed for for beets, parsnips turnips and colarabi.  The last built bed will be the hot loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, onions and such like plants.  I am still trying the 3 sisters garden in my southern exposed beds. I think what the plants need is more soil mounded up and less watering compared to last year.

I love the new little fence posts I got from D&B (local farm store).  These posts are made for an electric fence but they work great with temporary plastic garden fencing. The spike at the bottom of the post is easy to “step” into the ground a couple of zip ties attaches the fence to the post and it easy to use two posts to make a gateway/access to your garden.  Using just a few of these posts made the temp. fence faster and easier to install and has kept Tucker the peke from digging in the new garden beds.  One thing about Tucker, he loves digging in freshly turned beds!  I did leave his digging spot under the walnut trees alone.

I will start plants indoors for a second/fall planting in the beds. I still need a frame for frost protection these beds are designed to work as a cold frame in the future.  That should extend my growing season by a few weeks. Once the backyard area is cleaned up and a little luck,  I might be able to build my hard side green house this fall.

I’m still using containers for several plants like my potatoes, strawberry, raspberries and blackberries.  Some plants spread and some plants take some time to find a happy spot in the yard. Large container plantings work great for plants and if you have limited space for growing.  Comfrey is a great medicinal plant but it can take over a garden.  It really grows great in a kiddie pool with very minimal attention. Sunchokes grow great in poor soil and are great for choking out poor soil weeds.  But they can also spread.  I did not plant the grapes in my yard and it has been a lot of work to learn how to keep them cut back and under some control.  I have literally taken a small chain saw to cut back the grape vines, holly and lilac trees.  It is some work to cut them back so be aware of how much effort you are willing to keep plants cut back and healthy.  If you love those plants you can transplant them from the containers into a spot in your yard.  From my experience those plants will grow the way they want and not the way you want the plants to grow.

The making dog food thing is going well over all thought there has been a glitches.  As I have written before the green bean as vegetable matter in dog food is not a fix for an overweight dog.  I still put down a quality dry dog food kibble so the pups can get basic food basics and vitamins.  The dogs really seem to like the peas & carrot mix for the veggies.  They did eat the green beans when not offer an alternative.  I’m trying out several recipes and ingredient mixes and the dogs preferred the beef, broccoli and barley mix over the chicken, white rice and green beans.  Of course I also have empty doggie food bowls no matter the mix.  Before I had to throw out wet canned dog food that got all crusty and dried out.  While I do have canned dog food as back ups it is nice that I can simply cook up a new batch of dog food from my fridge/pantry and not buy dog food from the local mega-mart.

There is a huge difference between what I want to have and what I need to have.  As money and time allows I’m working on the need to haves first this summer.

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